10 Grammar

10 Grammar


Possessive pronouns

sin - si - sitt - sine

In Chapter 9 you were introduced to the possessive pronouns - the different forms of min (my/mine), din (your/yours singular) and vår (our/ours) and hans (his), hennes (her/hers) and deres (your/yours plural + their/theirs).

In the 3. person singular and plural, however, there is a reflexive possessive pronoun, sin. It is used when the subject of the sentence owns the object, and the other form is used when the subject does not own the object:

Sissel ringer tannlegen sin.
Sissel calls her (own) dentist.  
 →  Sissels tannlege 
Sissel ringer tannlegen hennes.
Sissel calls her dentist.  
 →  Cecilies tannlege 

The reflexive possessive pronoun agrees in gender and number with the owned noun, where sin is the masculine singular form, si the feminine singular, sitt the neuter singular form and sine the plural form.

Owner  Masculine  Feminine  Neuter  Plural 
I   faren min
my father 
mora mi
my mother 
huset mitt
my house 
bøkene mine
my books 
you  faren din
your father 
mora di
your mother 
huset ditt
your house 
bøkene dine
your books 
he  faren hans
his father
faren sin
his (own) father 
mora hans
his mother
mora si
his (own) mother 
huset hans
his house
huset sitt
his (own) house 
bøkene hans
his books
bøkene sine
his (own) books 
she  faren hennes
her father
faren sin
her (own) father 
mora hennes
her mother
mora si
her (own) mother 
huset hennes
her house
huset sitt
her (own) house 
bøkene hennes
her books
bøkene sine
her (own) books 
we  faren vår
our father 
mora vår
our mother 
huset vårt
our house 
bøkene våre
our books 
you  faren deres
your father 
mora deres
your mother 
huset deres
your house 
bøkene deres
your books 
they  faren deres
their father
faren sin
their (own) father 
mora deres
their mother
mora si
their (own) mother 
huset deres
their house
huset sitt
their (own) house 
bøkene deres
their books
bøkene sine
their (own) books 

Other examples:

Sissel kikker inn i munnen sin.
Sissel looks into her (own) mouth.  
 →  Sissels munn 
Sissel kikker inn i munnen hennes.
Sissel looks into her mouth.  
 →  Cecilies munn 
Sissel sitter ved skrivebordet sitt.
Sissel sits at her (own) desk.  
 →  Sissels skrivebord 
Sissel har vondt i tanna si.
Sissel has a pain in her (own) tooth.  
 →  Sissels tann 
Sissel peker på en av tennene sine.
Sissel points at one of her (own) teeth.  
 →  Sissels tenner 

Note that sin - si - sitt - sine can't be used in the subject:

Tannlegen hennes kan hjelpe henne.  Her dentist can help her.  
Subject                Object   
Hun får hjelp av tannlegen sin She gets help from her dentist.  



The main pattern for comparison is the following:

Positive  Comparative
+ enn (than)
fin  finere  finest   fine - finer - finest 
kald  kaldere  kaldest   cold - colder - coldest 
varm  varmere   varmest   warm - warmer - warmest 


Vinteren er kald i Fjordvik.  The winter is cold in Fjordvik.  
Vinteren er kaldere i Fjordvik enn i Paris.  The winter is colder in Fjordvik than in Paris.  
Vinteren er kaldest i Sibir.  The winter is coldest in Siberia.  


1) Adjectives ending in -(l)ig and -som take only -st in the superlative form:

Positive  Comparative
+ enn (than)
billig  billigere  billigst  cheap 
hyggelig  hyggeligere  hyggeligst  nice 
morsom  morsommere  morsomst   amusing/funny 

2) An -e disappears in the comparative and superlative form when the adjectives end in -el, -en and -er:

Positive  Comparative
+ enn (than)
travel  travlere  travlest  busy 
moden  modnere  modnest  ripe, mature 
vakker  vakrere  vakrest  beautiful 

3) Many adjectives ending in -sk and adjectives ending in -e are compared with mer (more) and mest (most).

Adjectives from the present perfect (example: berømt) and several long words and some foreign words are also compared in the same way:

Positive  Comparative
+ enn (than)
praktisk  mer praktisk  mest praktisk  practical 
moderne  mer moderne  mest moderne  modern 
berømt  mer berømt  mest berømt  famous 
interessant  mer interessant  mest interessant  interesting 
absurd  mer absurd  mest absurd  absurd 

Irregular comparative and superlative

Positive  Comparative
+ enn (than)
gammel  eldre  eldst  old 
god/bra  bedre  best  good 
ille  verre  verst  bad 
lang  lengre  lengst  long 
liten  mindre  minst  small 
stor  større  størst  big 
tung  tyngre  tyngst  heavy 
ung  yngre  yngst  young 
mange  flere  flest  many 
mye  mer  mest  much 


Cecilie er ung.
Cecilie is young.  
Dina er yngre enn Cecilie.
Dina is younger than Cecilie.  
Alex er yngst.
Alex is (the) youngest.  

Note the following:

1) The comparative form is invariable. The gender of the noun and the number (singular or plural) does not matter:

Dina er yngre enn Cecilie. 
Alex er yngre enn Dina. 
Alex og Dina er yngre enn Cecilie. 

2) When the superlative form is placed in front of a definite noun the adjectives end in -e. In addition, the definite articles den, det and de, which agree in gender and number with the noun, are required (see also Adjectives, the double definite construction, Chapter 8):

den yngste jenta
the youngest girl 
det fineste huset
the nicest house 
de beste bøkene
the best books 

3) When the superlative form appears as predicate after verbs like å være (to be), we can use the indefinite or the definite form of the superlative:

Alex er yngst i familien. Alex er den yngste i familien.
Alex is (the) youngest in the family.  

4) We use the superlative form when we compare two items:

Hvem er eldst/den eldste, Dina eller Alex?
Who is the older, Dina or Alex?  
Hvilken jakke er billigst/den billigste, den røde eller den svarte?
Which jacket is cheaper, the red or the black one?  
Hvilken by er størst/den største, Trondheim eller Oslo?
Which city is bigger, Trondheim or Oslo? 


An adverb describes a verb, whereas an adjective describes a noun or a pronoun. We form an adverb by using the neuter form of an adjective:

Alex puster tungt Alex breathes heavily.  
Alex snakker høyt Alex speaks loudly.  


Time expressions

A lot of time expressions are formed together with prepositions. Below you are presented with some of these expressions:

The preposition I is used

a) in front of years, months, holidays and other expressions regarding time:

i 2009, i oktober, i jula (for/during Christmas), 
(i) neste uke (next week), i kveld (tonight), i morgen (tomorrow). 

b) in front of seasons. The season you refer to is a specific one, and the tense of the verb will indicate whether you refer to the present season, to the coming season or to the last season. Note that we use the indefinite form of the noun (the season):

Ben går på norskkurs i høst Ben takes a Norwegian course this autumn.  
Ken skal studere psykologi i høst.  Ken is going to study psychology this autumn. 
I høst dro studentene på hyttetur.  This autumn the students went on a cabin trip.  

c) in front of periods of time:

Anna har bodd i Norge i tre måneder Anna has lived in Norway for three months.  
Hun skal være her i to år She is going to stay here for two years.  

The preposition OM is used

a) in front of seasons and other periods of time when the periods are repeated. Note the definite form of the noun:

Ola liker å bade om sommeren Ola likes to go for a swim in the summer.  
Om kvelden ser Ken på TV.  In the evening, Ken watches TV.  

b) to express future:

De skal reise på tur om to dager They are going on a trip in two days.  
Kurset begynner om 15 minutter The course starts in 15 minutes.  

For _ siden

We use the discontinuous preposition for _ siden to express ago:

De flyttet hit for tre måneder siden They moved here three months ago.  

The preposition PÅ

Together with weekdays we use :

Bussen drar klokka 16.00 på søndag The bus leaves at 4 pm on Sunday.  
Maria er på Dragvoll på fredager Maria is at Dragvoll on Fridays.  


All the verbs synes, tro and tenke mean «to think», but they are used in different contexts.

Synes is used about a subjective meaning. It can also be translated with «to find» in English:

Hun synes at det er interessant.  She thinks it is interesting. / She finds it interesting.  

Notice that synes ends in -s in all forms: å synes – synes – syntes – har syntes. You can find more verbs like this in Chapter 12.

Tro is used when you are insecure about facts. It can also be translated with «to believe» in English:

Jeg tror at London er større enn Oslo.  I think/believe London is bigger than Oslo.  

Tenke refers to the cognitive process of thinking:

Alex tenker på katten.  Alex is thinking about the cat.